He later told reporters: “Ashley (Young) certainly holds his hand up because he can look straight at the linesman. Maybe he hesitates a little bit. He could have probably got a block in and that probably would have helped David (De Gea) but that’s no consolation for us now because it’s a perfectly good goal for them.
“He probably should have kept the flag down. He made an impact on the situation by raising the flag.”
Solskjaer was magnanimous in the end but less impressed with the video assistant’s input when Sead Kolasinac appeared to handball Young’s cross, but VAR official Mike Dean decided against overruling Friend’s decision not to award a penalty.
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“You’d rather blow the whistle and check it after if you are unsure,” he said. “I was, and quite a few Manchester United fans were sure that it was a penalty.
3:21 Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes his Manchester United side were not clinical enough and will have to learn lessons from their 1-1 draw with Arsenal
“Then again, sometimes you get them and sometimes you don’t. We’ve got more than our share against us so far so we’ll get some at the end.”
Aubameyang: VAR takes away from scoring
Aubameyang appeared to agree with what Solskjaer claimed he heard, saying: “I was sure I was onside – I was surprised the referee whistled but I finished as usual and always try to score even if I here the whistle. I heard the crowd saying it was offside but it was a goal so I was happy.”
Although the striker’s wait to see his goal awarded by VAR was only 28 seconds, it still left last season’s Golden Boot winner in two minds as to how he should react when the ball first hit the back of the net. “Yeah, of course [it takes something away],” he said. “It’s a strange feeling, you cannot celebrate 100 per cent. It’s okay, I’m happy at the same time.”
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De Gea: Flag distracted us
His goalkeeper David de Gea, however, said the offside flag raised when Aubameyang was adjudged offside had affected some of the United defenders, who struggled to reorganise as the striker ran through.
When asked if any of the United players were distracted by the flag going up, he told Sky Sports: “Of course, it’s easier if the linesman keeps the flag down but also, we know there’s VAR behind so if it’s offside, it’s offside.
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“We need to keep focused on the game. We gave away an easy goal. We had control of the game so we need to learn from that mistake.”